Gardening on damp ground or a slope

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Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby Jackman » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:04 am

Going to attempt a Cub size garden, tomatoes,corn,carrots,beans,beets,lettuce,onions and what ever else comes to mind, the problem is I don't have an ideal location my 2 1/4 acre lot is mostly damp to wet clay soil with full sun and flat, but out back I have good soil its dark and dry soil but its on a slope with partial shade and kinda rocky,,,, I think the front with full sun and flat is the answer but the wet clay like soil seems kinda anti garden, any thoughts :?:

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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby Don McCombs » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:24 am

First, I would do some soil sampling to determine what fertilizer and lime will be necessary for each location. Contact your local extension service to find out how that is done in your area. You don't say how steep your sloped area is, but if not too severe, that may be the best option. If the ground has not been tilled recently, you may want to find someone with heavier equipment to do the first plowing.
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby Jackman » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:35 am

Wish I knew how to determine how steep a slope is in degrees, that said its not steep but it is a slope so I think if there were a hard down pour I might loose the garden to erosion , out frount I tilled last year with a Troybilt horse its light and fluffy when dry, this year I have a fast hitch plow so I will turn it over and till it again , fert and lime it needs for sure, nothing but grass has grown there in 50 years.

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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby Don McCombs » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:20 pm

Rise over run X 100 = % slope.

Take an 8 foot (run) 2X4 and put a level on top. Put one end of the 2X4 on the ground, level the 2X4 and measure the distance (rise) from the ground to the top side of the 2X4. Rise divided by run X 100.
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby outdoors4evr » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:31 am

While plants grow just fine on hills, the water management and erosion becomes a real task.
China cuts hills/mountains into steps so that they can grow on flat surfaces. Sounds like a lot of work with a shovel, but they have made an art form out of it and found it valuable.
Rice farmers sculpt their land so that when the land is flooded, the water very slowly moves downhill. That way it can be watered from one place (the high point of the field) and the entire field is provided with water. Maybe you could plow the hillside and plant on top of the furrows. Just put the hose at the top of the hill and let the water zigzag its way down the hill down each furrow.

I don't know what you are growing, but I think I would spend a few seasons and a little $$$ improving the flat ground. Planting cover crop and tilling in some aged feces (not fresh stuff) can go a long way with clay. Note: Fresh stuff has a lot of seeds in it.
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby Eugene » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:16 am

outdoors4evr wrote:I think I would spend a few seasons and a little $$$ improving the flat ground. Planting cover crop and tilling in some aged feces (not fresh stuff) can go a long way with clay. Note: Fresh stuff has a lot of seeds in it.
That is what I would do, green manure and plant forage radish in early fall. It wouldn't hurt to till up a couple of strips and planting vegetables this spring.

In this area, central Missouri, you can get 2 or 3 year old round bales of hay, free, haul them off. Unroll the old hay and let it rot.

I like forage radish. Drills deep holes in Missouri clay. Dies out, killed off in winter. Provides a cover crop during the winter and humus for the soil.

Edit: Drainage tile or French drains for the wet clay ground?
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:51 am

I do not know what type clay you have in your area, but in my area with red clay if you work it wet, you have to forget it for a couple of years.
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:06 pm

Any clay soil will be improved by large amounts of organic material. Leaves, manure, hay, compost sawdust, all loosen and improve drainage in clay soil.
Cover crops, as Eugene mentioned, also work. The tillage radish he mentioned, leaves long penetrations, in the clay, as the root dies, and rots. Can improve drainage, if it penetrates a layer of clay.
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby SONNY » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:38 pm

The radishes around here dont get more than 6 inches long so they dont work in all areas. Plowing under thick layers of anything that rots, will do wonderous for any kind of ground. I use fresh manure, leaves, grass and weeds (usually compost the weeds down for a year before using) thick,-- then plow it under real deep then start working the top down mixing the stuff as you go.
I moldboard plow 12-14 inches deep, ( your depth will vary upon location) and hit it with the 72 inch tiller 6 - 8 inches deep the first pass, then do lighter top passes until the seed surface is nice and fine!----use pre-emerge grass/weed killer and weeds are not much of a problem.
Also you can do it in sections and farm one section and work all kinds of stuff in the other section.--next year switch sides.---I still do that on some of my gardens here and after a couple years you can tell to the inch where you did the compost.----plants notice the difference too.
Tile under the wet place would work too IF you have an outlet for it. If no outlet you could build a cistern type catch basin to run tile into then use sump pump to empty it.---Kinda costly but would work. thanks; sonny
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby Jackman » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:32 pm

Is the forage radish a non edible? Plant forage radish in Fall and just till under in Spring? Thanks!

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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby Eugene » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:58 pm

Forage radish is a daikon type radish. I have eaten one - ok - not that great. We have pulled forage radish. The non broken portion was about 18" long, depth in ground.

Correct, plant in early fall. Actually by plowing time, most of the radish and leaves will have rotted. You can use forage radish in your deer food plot.

I get forage radish seed from the local farm and ranch store. $2.65 per lb. Broad cast 12 lbs. per acre. A bit less expensive green manure is turnips. Turnip seed is $2.50 per lb. and broad cast 2 1/2 lbs. per acre.
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby SONNY » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:36 pm

Big ole sloppy turnips plowed under would be a way to get lots of good green material turned into the ground!!---High tonnage from them and easy to handle, too!!! thanks; sonny
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Re: Gardening on damp ground or a slope

Postby Jackman » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:14 am

You guys are a wealth of knowledge , thanks !


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